5 great players who never played at the World Cup

FIFA World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland v Wales
The Welsh magician could not show his magic at the World Cup

#4 Eric Cantona (France)

Cantona Scores For France
Cantona's international career was replete with suspensions

Nationality: France

Countries represented at the international level: France

International Caps: 45 (1987-1995)

International Goals: 20

International trophies won (with France): 0

With four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles, it is no wonder he was fondly called 'King Cantona' by the United faithful. The arrival of Cantona changed fortunes for the Red Devils as he played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force in the 1990s.

For all the laurels in his club career, Cantona had a wretched fortune when it came to representing his home country, France, at the World Cup.

Cantona was given his full international debut against West Germany in August 1987 by the then national team manager Henri Michel. In September 1988, after being dropped from the national team, an angry Cantona referred to Michel as a "bag of shit" in a post-match TV interview which led to his indefinite ban from all international matches.

However, shortly after, Michel was sacked having failed to lead France to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Four years later, under Gérard Houllier, once again France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup after losing the final game 2–1 at home to Bulgaria.

In January 1995, Cantona was suspended for a kung-fu kick aimed at a Crystal Palace fan in United's match at Selhurst Park. By the time Cantona's suspension had been completed, he had lost his role as the team's playmaker to Zinédine Zidane. Angered by this, Cantona finally ended his international career with France on January 18, 1995, after a 1-0 victory over the Dutch.

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Edited by Ashwin Hanagudu
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